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Minnis to lock down country for next two weekends

Bahamians will be on lockdown during the next two weekends.

A holiday weekend lockdown will be imposed on the entire country from 7pm Friday to 5 am Tuesday.

There will also be a weekend lockdown on Friday, August 7 from 7pm to 5 a.m., Monday, August 10.

Grand Bahama, which is under a two-week lockdown, is excluded.

Food stores, gas stations, pharmacies and water depots will be permitted to operate on Saturday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

On Tuesday at 5 a.m., commercial and social activity may resume as outlined in the Emergency Powers (COVID-19 Pandemic) (No. 3) Order, 2020.

All individuals wishing to leave the country during the lockdown either by air or by boat may do so.

Religious services may be held virtually. Live streaming is permitted between 7 a.m. and 1 p.m., Saturday and Sunday from a religious facility, provided that no more than 10 people participate from the facility.

During a lockdown, exercise is permitted within the confines of an individual’s yard only.

Construction is permitted on Saturday over the lockdown weekend.

A lockdown means that no individual, except an essential worker, is permitted to leave their place of residence for any purpose, other than to seek urgent medical care or as outlined above.

The government announced the weekend lockdown amid criticism over its last minute weekend lockdown on Friday past, which cost businesses thousands of dollars and forced families to postpone weddings and funerals with hours notice.

Tourism Minister Dionisio D’Aguilar said today it was unfortunate the government did not give residents more notice and would work on doing so in the future.

Business owners have lamented the lockdowns as the lazy way out and called on the government to consult with them on ways to enforce safety measures instead of hurting their profits with frequent lockdowns.

Bahamians are also growing frustrated with the constant changes to emergency orders that appear to be thrown together on a whim with no thought for how they would impact citizens.

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